I love children’s books. Through them, I discovered a love for reading, and I now enjoy experiencing them with my two daughters who are both emerging readers. Sometimes when my family is facing a challenge and we need to talk about our emotions, reading my children a book can help frame the situation so they can understand it. That is why I love Jamie Sandefer’s book, Love You from Right Here: A Keepsake Book for Children in Foster Care. With its sweet illustrations by Pamela Goodman, we can see the unconditional love of a foster parent during the placement of a child.
It begins with, “When you’re over there… I’ll love you from right here.” The little girl is entering the home with the suited legs of a caseworker behind her. She is clutching a stuffed giraffe, and the foster mother is sitting on the floor as she reaches a hand to the child. A puzzle sits on the floor between them as an invitation to play.
The next pages say, “When you’re kind of sad… I’ll always be right here.” The girl is sitting against the wall, knees in her arms, still clutching the giraffe. The mother against the same wall but at a safe distance. She has placed her hand on the floor beside them. As we turn the pages, we can see the little girl going through fear, anger, and nervousness at her new life in foster care. The mother is empathetic and comforting each time. The girl also has moments of playfulness and joy, and the scenes evolve to look more and more like the life of any child and her mother.
In the end, the girl is walking down the driveway towards the caseworker’s car and waving happily back to the mother, who is smiling slightly and holding her heart. It says, “And if you’re over there… I’ll still love you from right here.” We can assume the child is returning to her biological family and leaving with good memories of this home.
At the back of the book is a place for photos. Also, it has spaces for writing the child’s arrival and departure dates. It offers prompts like memories of times the child spent with the foster family. If I were a foster parent, giving this book to a child leaving my home would be a great comfort to me. I would hope he or she would read it, look at the photos, and remember the times we had together. I would pray for the memories of my home to be happy ones to carry into adulthood and for this book would to be a wonderful reminder. It is so sweet, and I recommend it for foster families to use as a keepsake.
For more keepsake and book ideas for kids in foster care, check out Care2Foster on Pinterest.